Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2226699 - 02/06/14 12:34 AM Can a piece have too many ideas?
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2314
Loc: NYC
Classical pieces here, but may apply to new works as well?

I heard a string quartet on the radio while driving the other day. Never heard it before. There were so many different ideas (motives, turns of phrase, harmonic twists, interruptions and accents, etc.) that it nearly took my breath away. Very original. Surprising.

It turned out to be by Jan Ladislav Dussek.

Then I recalled that it reminded me of one of the Razumovsky quartets of Beethoven, another work where the ideas were coming at you in a barrage, with tons of variety.

In both pieces, I wonder if such works suffer for such abundance. Is it at the expense of structure or other concepts of unity? Just asking in a general way.

Hasn't hurt Beethoven, obviously, though we don't hear much of Dussek any more. (And maybe we should.)
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

Top
Piano & Music Acc. / Sheet Music


Sheet Music Plus Homepage
#2226702 - 02/06/14 12:43 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5220
Loc: Europe
Usually if the different ideas are structurally loose then there's a mess going on. It requires an amazing talent and hard work to make it work!

Could it be that the ideas, however different were based on less ideas, so there was some structure going on, in terms of motives and ideas and accents, etc?
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#2226706 - 02/06/14 12:50 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Yes, I think too many ideas is a bad thing. How would you like it if you were reading a novel and there was a new character every other page? I think of musical ideas as characters. You have a few and you just develop them throughout the plot.

Top
#2226721 - 02/06/14 01:10 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7513
Loc: New York City
Beethoven may seem like he's throwing new ideas at you every 5 seconds, but usually they are all derived from a few key motives, which he develops and transforms so that you don't even notice their presence and how they tie all the themes together. That's the genius of Beethoven.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2226722 - 02/06/14 01:10 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
Ritzycat Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 146
I'm not anything of an expert on music but I think it can work. I find it typically works best in a negative-sounding piece (I think there is a musical term for that).

Our band played Bukvich's Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam Dresden, 1945) last year, I think its a good example of very random and twists around every corner, if that's what you mean. It all seems to retain a pretty similar theme though.

I'd imagine such composition is difficult, it's hard to take literally awful sounding crap and putting it together to get something harmonic.


Edited by Ritzycat (02/06/14 01:11 AM)

Top
#2226830 - 02/06/14 08:21 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer

In both pieces, I wonder if such works suffer for such abundance. Is it at the expense of structure or other concepts of unity? Just asking in a general way.



To me, that kind of abundance of ideas is only at the expense of structure or other concepts of unity if the composer was aiming for some particular kind of structure or unity, and failed to some degree. But what if ideas of structure and unity aren't really all that high on the composer's priorities for the piece? They don't have to be, even in the Classical era.

A good chunk of C.P.E. Bach's music (familiar to Beethoven, and probably to Dussek too) seems almost bursting with ideas and rapid shifts, too. Surprise seems to be a primary esthetic value in some of his music. I think that was part of the trend towards hyper-expressive music in his day, and it makes sense to me that some of his concepts and techniques would have still been known to composers like Beethoven and Dussek, and used by them when they wanted to knock the socks off their audience. Total speculation on my part, but I think it makes some sense.

Getting back to more general stuff - music that is saturated with ideas can be very hard for a composer to shape into something that "makes sense", I think. And I think, having heard and played through some Dussek, that he had some problems keeping a grip on his materials. But to me, it's not that he had too many ideas, but that he lacked a certain maniacal focus, aka "genius", that Beethoven did have. Still, he's an interesting composer, Dussek is.

Top
#2226897 - 02/06/14 11:06 AM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2314
Loc: NYC
Good responses, thank you.

I learned that Dussek and Beethoven were almost-contemporaries, and Dussek was one of the composers whose work Beethoven knew.

It did strike me that that Razumovsky quartet wasn't all that tightly written. But it was a one-time listen over the radio. Most Beethoven seems to me much more focused in content and development. For both these works, repeat listenings may reveal different things, result in different assessments.

I'm going to try to listen to more Dussek too. When I read through some piano works years ago, they did seem interesting yet unfocused. The quartet had more going for it, and the sonata form did lend unity. I was intrigued.

wr, that was an interesting point about C.P.E. Bach, whose music I don't know except for a couple of freewheeling keyboard fantasias. It really could have been part of an aesthetic to use a plethora of ideas.

I guess part of my interest in this topic is that the far more common complaint is that some music has too FEW ideas, or isn't creative enough. So it's interesting to me to explore the opposite pole.


Edited by RealPlayer (02/06/14 11:58 AM)
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

Top
#2230336 - 02/12/14 12:34 PM Re: Can a piece have too many ideas? [Re: RealPlayer]
Herr Weiss Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 118
Loc: New York, N.Y.
We mere mortals should stay away from putting too many ideas(motifs)in one "basket". It is wise to spread them around to other compositions. A good melodic line doesn't come along everyday, I'll say.

Just my 2 cents.


HW


Edited by Herr Weiss (02/12/14 12:36 PM)

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
134 registered (Abby Pianoman, accordeur, anotherscott, AndrewJCW, Alex1, 42 invisible), 1506 Guests and 16 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75566 Members
42 Forums
156235 Topics
2294543 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
teaching in a studio vs independently from home
by JRoberts
51 minutes 37 seconds ago
First time piano buyer - please help!
by Ksi
Today at 07:29 PM
Verituner Data Download?
by A443
Today at 07:27 PM
Meaning of Perfect Fith in music theory
by Weiyan
Today at 07:14 PM
Practicing slow is only part of it
by Sweet06
Today at 06:50 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission